Author Archives: bodyagefitness

Post workout Drink to help begin the Recovery Process

During a somewhat intense workout lasting 45 minutes or more ( Sorry but walking the dog does not count!) your body uses a good amount of stored glycogen for energy production.   And the more intense the workout, the more microscopic muscle tears your existing muscle mass will suffer.

This process of stressing your body in order to become stronger, leaner, faster works well but is best accomplished when recovery from each workout is fast and complete. As an athlete/coach, I know you will see the best performance improvements by allowing your body to recover well between each workout!

Extensive research has showed that one of the easiest way to help your metabolism recover faster is to drink a mix of simple carbohydrates and easily absorbable protein as soon as possible after the workout.

This “window of faster recovery” begins right after the workout ends and is open for about 45 minutes max! During this short time post-workout, your muscle’s cells are primed to accept/intake nutrients which will stimulate muscle repair and growth.

It is best to ingest a liquid mix compared to solid food since your digestive system has a much easier time digesting the carbs and protein in liquid format and your muscles cell will get their “repair fix” quicker!

As mentioned before, the 2 most important ingredients of this “post workout drink” are :

  • Simple carbohydrates: blended banana, mango, fruit juice, Gatorade,…
  • Powered protein: My favorite is whey protein isolate, which has one of the highest BV rating(Biological Value: amount of protein retained in the body per gram of protein absorbed) but I also sometimes use more “plant based protein” like Vega, which is more suitable for people who are Vegan than Whey Isolate.

When my workout finishes at home and close to my blender. I prepare what I believe to be my perfect post workout drink which consist of:

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 30 grams whey protein isolate (chocolate is my favorite)
  • 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate (Creatine helps to supply energy to all muscles cell in the body)
  • 5 grams of L-Glutamine (Enhances Muscle Cell Volume & Protects Against Muscle Breakdown)

While I drink this mix, I can feel my body getting stronger and I know I will be ready for the next workout!

When I am away, I sometimes bring the necessary ingredients/blender with me or I can always find chocolate milk in a grocery store. And nowadays, many stores also carries other brands of protein shakes. Simply read the ingredients and get the drink, which has, at least, a 2 to 1 carbs to protein ratio.

Numerous studies have proved that rapid post-workout nutrition provides many benefits to athletes:

  • Increased muscle glycogen replenishment
  • Decreased protein breakdown
  • Improved overall recovery
  • Less muscle soreness
  • Improved immune function
  • List goes on..

We are all looking for increased/improved performance right? Give your body the help it needs and start drinking a recovery drink right after your next workout!

Train Smarter – Not Harder!




Regular Exercise Helps Aging Bodies Remain Active and Productive

The human body is made of lean tissue (muscle and organ), fat, bone and water. From birth to around the age of 30 (+/- a few years depending on individuals) the body’s muscle mass grows larger and stronger. But at some point after the age of 30s, the body begins to lose muscle mass, coordination and functionality.   This is known as age-related sarcopenia. There are approximately 650 muscles in the human body. The skeletal muscles are the muscles, which control your bodies’ everyday actions: standing – walking – lifting an object…

Sarcopenia does indeed affect these muscles and, as anyone over 30 years of age has already noticed, losing muscle mass makes these everyday tasks more difficult than “when the body was younger!” Walking up stairs becomes a struggle; walking back up the hill toward your house leaves you breathing heavy, doing some basic garden work hurts your back… And the worst part is that it only gets worst as the years go by.

Lack of exercise is one of the major factors causing Sarcopenia. People who are not physically active as they age, will lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade after age 30.

age decline

Here is a picture showing the cross-sectional images of the thigh muscles of master athletes. The study done by Dr. Vonda Wong and her colleagues showed the importance of continued lifelong activities!

muscle mass loss



The primary treatment for Sarcopenia is regular resistance / strength training. Research has proven that people who continue to exercise regularly during their adult life exhibit a much more progressive loss of muscle mass.

Therefore, the solution to “Defying the aging process” and remaining strong and active seems to be quite simple.

Regular resistance training workouts will keep your muscle active, flexible and strong.

Muscles need to be activated regularly to be kept in good working order. And since further studies have shown that exercise only preserve the muscles you actually use ( use it or lose it), you need to adhere to a full body workout plan!

Since our lifespan is continually expanding and many people have worked hard to ensure they have financial freedom for the senior years, wouldn’t be nice to be able to also enjoy physical freedom and be able to fully enjoy getting older!!

There are many different ways to keep your muscles mass activated and strong : group sports – fitness classes – gym workouts – personal fitness coaching….

Find the one or the ones which is/are suitable to you and your budget and get started right away!

Join the growing numbers of people who have decided to “Defy Aging” and remain young of Body & Mind for a long as possible!


Train Smarter – Not Harder!

Michel Pelletier

Enjoying Climbing Hills on my road even though I am 6’3” 200lbs!

Riding up hills and being tall and heavy do not usually go well together BUT how many good rides have any of you ever been on where there were “No Hills”??  Anyone who is really interested in riding a bike competitively in races, centuries, grand-fondos… must be willing to ride up hills.  And since riding in a group saves some much energy in any endurance event, being able to stay with your group of choice on a hill is a MUST!

Therefore, ever since I began riding more competitively, I began to look for ways/tricks which would help me ride uphills faster.

I quickly realized that there were no “quick fixes” and that I would have to rely on good leg strength, proper spinning technique, good body position and some mental toughness to get me up these inclines at a decent speed.

2 weekends ago, I participated in a local hill climb of Cypress Mountain.  I was very happy to realize that my efforts paid off and even though, there were faster climbers than me, (most of them 30lbs and more lighter than me) I was able to ride uphill at speeds which I was satisfied with.

My climbing ability comes from a few different factors, but the ones which I believe most of you heavier riders could quickly see positive results from are:

  • Leg power: I always had big legs but I have also always worked at keeping them strong.  I regularly do leg presses, squats, lunges… all those great exercises which allow me to keep my leg muscles activated and strong.  Power is what I am after and therefore, I focus on weight loads I can handle for 12 to 15 repetitions.
  •  Applying pressure on the pedal for the whole 360 degrees of the pedal stroke: I am often reminding the clients I coach cycling that effective control of the pedal throughout the whole spin cycle will give every pedal stroke the most power they can produce.  It is well worth the efforts.  No more “mashing” or pushing down on the front end of the pedal stroke.  They key to a strong pedal stroke is complete control of the pedals.
  • Sitting forward on the seat of the bike: By sitting forward on the seat, your hips will move closer to the bottom bracket of your bike which will put your body in a much better angle to activate your glutes and hamstring muscles to apply pressure on the pedals during the climb.
  • Mental preparation to suffer a little…  Yes, climbing hills is tough.  It may be a little tougher on a 200lbs rider than on someone who weighs 130lbs…  But you can still get mentally prepared ready for this.  Mental preparation to suffer includes having done a pre-ride, knowing what the tougher sections are and reminding yourself that “it will soon be over!”  Over the years, I have read and listened to many different ideas/thoughts on the best way to get mentally prepared to suffer and the one technique I choose is to practice hill climbing as often as I can.  I must say, I often find hill climbing enjoyable now!!

In conclusion, climbing hills is part of riding a bike.  Better get prepared for it and find ways to enjoy it!

Train Smarter – Not Harder!


Functional Training” What is it and is this type of training for you?

A good program of Functional Training exercises will be a series of whole body exercises which somewhat mimics the activities you normally do on a daily basis or in your choice of sport.  By doing these exercises in a controlled environment and on a consistent basis, your body will become stronger and be better able to handle the stress caused by these activities.

For example, doing squats (body weight or with added resistance) is a great functional exercise as it trains your leg/gluteus/chore muscles to make standing up from a chair or picking something from the floor a much easier task.

All the functional training exercises I prescribe to my clients are multi-jointed and are performed in a standing position.  These types or exercises will force your brain – nervous system(central governor system) to coordinate the efforts of the different muscle groups needed to accomplish the task in the most effective manner.  It does not always mean the exercises will be easy at first, but since the large majority of functional training exercises (squats, step ups, torso twists…) are comprised of basic movements, your learning curve will often be fairly rapid and the exercises will become easier.

Doing the exercises in the standing position will also help strengthen the muscle groups responsible for better stability of your body; your “Chore Muscles”.  Your chore muscles consist of: transverse abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis, diaphragm, hip abductors/ adductors/rotators, hip flexors and the scapula stabilizers.

All movement patterns go through the chore muscles.  Whenever the body moves, to lift something or simply to move from one position to another, the core muscles are tensed first. The tension in your chore muscles is usually made unconsciously and in conjunction with a change in breathing pattern.

But as the body ages, many of these chores muscles are not being used regularly and many of them will begin to atrophy and lose strength. Regular and consistent use of well performed Functional Exercises will help keep these muscles in good working form!

As a Personal Fitness Trainer, some of the goals I have for each one of my clients are:

  • To get them fit and ready for their “everyday chores – work load”,
  • To improve their muscular balance and coordination
  • To reduce their risk of injury (falling – over use injuries…)
  • Improve their overall quality of life.

And, as you read above, that is exactly what training using Functional Training Exercises will do!  Therefore I recommend everyone 40 years of age and over to begin a regular workout program which includes many Functional Training Exercises!


Happy Training



Individualized Endurance Training Plan is Key to Success!

“Do you have an existing/sample training program I could use to update my existing training plan?” is a question people are often asking me.

The reality is that, no matter the type and duration of the event/goal you are training for, using an endurance training plan which has been designed for someone else, with different strength – weakness – time available… will, most likely not be very effective.

A much better idea is to ask a coach/trainer to design a specific training plan according to your goals/present level of fitness/weekly time available to train …

First step I would recommend is to go through some type of performance evaluation/assessment to find out what is your present level of fitness.

The performance evaluation should be objective and easily repeatable so you can see improvements as your train for your event/goal. The results of this evaluation will show your present capacity as an athlete and from there, effective training will allow you to get stronger… faster…

After you have completed your evaluation, you may want to review your goal event and to make sure it is a realistic and attainable goal.

Best to have your longer term goal; Your “A” race/event and have some shorter terms goals “B races/events” which you can use as stepping stones toward your major event.

Having regular and objective re-assessment will allow you and your coach to see how you are progressing and will be a good motivator!

In today’s busy lifestyle, it is best to “Train Smarter – Not Harder”! Making every workout count toward gradually improving your performanceHaving a training program suited for you will provide the proper level of training load to create the improvements you are looking for and, at the same time, allow enough rest for proper recovery. This combination has been proven to allow athletes to realize continued progress.

As your fitness and strength continues to improve, an individually designed training program may very well allow you to adjust your goals and objectives to levels you never thought you could reach before!

Train Smarter – Not Harder!

Michel Pelletier